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Rutland High School to implement cybersecurity curriculum in next year's courses

They're joining a national Marine JROTC cohort to implement cybersecurity curriculum in next year's program.

MACON, Ga. — Cybersecurity and computer science education is becoming more important than ever.

Now, Rutland High School's Marine Junior ROTC will lead the charge in this field.

They're joining a national Marine JROTC cohort to implement cybersecurity curriculum in next year's program. It's a partnership between the Marine Corps JROTC and "computer science for all."

Rutland High School's Marine JROTC program is one of five schools across the country already selected for this cohort.

Alaia Anderson a rising Senior at Rutland high is a part of the "CyberPatriot" program. 

"When people see computer class and computer team, they think, 'Oh, yeah, geeks,' but you see me. I am not a geek at all, you wouldn't see me and expect me to be in a computer class," Anderson said.

It's an extracurricular team that teaches students the basics of cybersecurity, ethics, and behavior in a virtual domain.

Anderson says she hopes being a part of the team will help her get college scholarships.

"With cybersecurity everything is going digital. I want to be in the military. We have a crisis about oil, so I really wanted to see how cybersecurity would affect me. If I would like it or not. I ended up liking it so I stayed," Anderson said.

Keith Allen is the senior Marine Instructor at Rutland and says these are necessary skills to learn.

"Everybody is focused on technology, and in our particular school we use technology, but we don't teach much on how to protect that technology. How to safe guard it," Allen said.

Allen says being selected for the cohort will help them better teach the subject, and help students like rising Junior Joemarion Frye apply what they learn to their future.

"Just stand out do something different. You're already on your phone, so you might as well learn what it's about," Frye said.

Frye is in the CyberPatriot program, too.

He says he wants to explore how the world works with computers. Now, that Rutland is joining this cohort students like him can take part in the college board's advanced placement program.

They'll start the AP "computer science principles" class in their freshman year, and work through it throughout high school.

 "I want to take this class because it's something different. It's something new. Technology only improving, so it's good to have this knowledge," Frye said. 

If students pass the AP exam when they finish the course, they could get college credit for it.

Keith Allen says he hopes this program helps students see they can achieve their dreams, and move into a career they may think is out of reach. Allen says instead of testing for college credits, students can also seek industry certification to hopefully get a job out of high school.

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